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RangerWest

Ph.D. in physics--quickest route to 3D game design? What's GTA written in? Halo?

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Hello! I have a Ph.D. in physics, and I was looking for the quickest route to 3D game design. What are the best tools for producing interactive 3D graphics? What's the shortest line to get there? I've coded some 3D applications in C++, but I'd be happier using tools to get there for designing games. I'm prepared to put the time in, and any help in pointing me down the right pat is greatly appreicated! What are GTA and Halo developed in? What are the best tools? What games are the easiest to mod? What are the least expensive engines? Thanks so much for helping out a newbie! Ranger :)

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Regarding modding games, probably UT200X and Half-Life are great for the job, mostly because of the big community of modders around them, so If youre into modding, you should check out these two.

Engines.... well, If you want commercial, then I guess Torque engine (100 box?) is the least expensive and its very recommended.
Also there is other one called TrueVision 3D which is worthy checking out.
Open source engines, crystal space and ogre seem to be very good ones. Check out
HERE for a list of 3d engines of all kind, free and commercial ones.

Now, I dunno what you reffer to when you say the shortest line... do you want to simply use an engine, or rather use a game development kit??? If your solution is the last one, then I guess something like gamestudio is what you're looking for.

[Edited by - darklordsatan on February 15, 2005 4:58:34 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I'm curious as to what a PhD in Physics has learned at past the BSc that would be applicable to game programming...?

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Original post by Anonymous Poster
I'm curious as to what a PhD in Physics has learned at past the BSc that would be applicable to game programming...?

having a PhD in physics shows that you have some serious talent/intelligence

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Thanks for the feedback!

Is Torque just as good of an end-to-end development tool as gamestudio?

What commerical games exist for Torque? For gamestudio?

It seems Torque might be more versatile and thus better to learn.

We have an idea for a game which involves flying F-22 raptors, boating, classic corvette car chases across the united states, and a big battle at the end--I'll be happy to provide more details in the near future.

I don't know how much a Ph.D. helps, but I guess I don't mind solving problems.

Relativity and quantum mechanics use a lot of matrix algebra--a lot of rotations, transformations, etc. Matrix algebra pervades every field, from condensed matter to theoretical models of the universe, so you get fairly comfortable with it.

How helpful a Ph.D. is depends on the field it was received in--guys who model 3D & 4D renderings of spacetime in C++, or design simulations of multi-body interactions, for example, should be able to jump right in. I did some of this, but worked on an artificial retina for blind people--a lot of 3D modeling of electrons & holes in phototranistsors--collisions, fields, etc.

But still, everything in life has a learning curve. :)

Although the principles of physics and math govern all the games, there's still a lot to know!

Thanks again for the advice/info!

Best,

Ranger

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Torque is a more capable engine than gamestudio, IMO. Torque was used in Tribes, Starsiege, and Tribes 2, and is currently used in a number of indie games.

If you want commercial-quality "AAA" results, you'd have to be prepared to put in a lot of effort in improving Torque, though, or license something off the shelf, such as the Unreal engine series, or the Far Cry Sandbox engine, or the Half Life 2 "Source" engine. That'll run you between $100k and $500k, though.

When I say "a lot of effort" I mean a team of programmers for at least a year. In addition to that, for anything that actually looks up to par with current games, you need at least a dozen texture and modeling artists, again working for more than a year (2 years is about minimum for a console game these days; large games go to 4 years).

If you just want to learn game design, in order to "break in" and work for one of the existing studios, then Torque ought to be fine. You should also at least be familiar with some kind of 3D modeling tool, such as 3d studio max, Maya, or perhaps Milkshape (although the latter isn't used professionally). Knowing world/level editors, such as GtkRadiant or the Unreal editor or WorldForge also helps. The only way to really learn these things is to do stuff with them, and then try it out, and then figure out what can be improved, and iterate.

Another approach would be to target a studio already now, and learn exactly the tool set you know they're using (you can usually find out by checking available PR/marketing information, or just call them up and ask). Most of the current engines ship their tool set for "modders" so it's easy to get started; just buy the game, install the editor, and off you go.

However, no matter where you're coming from, game design, or 3D game programming (two different things), take a lot of time to get right. They say that, no matter what the subject area is, it takes 10 years to "max out" in that area. If you're starting from scratch, well, be prepared to work at it for a while :-)

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Thanks for the feedback!

Where on the net are the biggest Torque communities?

If I write a game using Torque, is it easy to release it on multiple platforms?

Would it be possible to port it someday to Xbox/Playstation, or would that require an entire rewrite from the ground up? (I know this would be quite a project with a lot of $$$$, but is a straightforward port feasible)

Suppose I need airplanes (F-22 Raptors), cars (Corvettes), weapons (guns, bombs, RPGs), and characters (male lead, female lead, robodrones, and roboclones with special skillsets), where is the best place to find the code/art for these?

It seems garagegames.com has a lot of these, but are where are the biggest Torque repositories/communities?

Thanks so much!

Best,

Ranger

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Quote:
Original post by RangerWest
If I write a game using Torque, is it easy to release it on multiple platforms?

Would it be possible to port it someday to Xbox/Playstation, or would that require an entire rewrite from the ground up? (I know this would be quite a project with a lot of $$$$, but is a straightforward port feasible)


It's entirely possible. It may be a lot of effort (depending on how you work your code).

Quote:
Original post by RangerWest
Suppose I need airplanes (F-22 Raptors), cars (Corvettes), weapons (guns, bombs, RPGs), and characters (male lead, female lead, robodrones, and roboclones with special skillsets), where is the best place to find the code/art for these?


You can find 3D model packages all over the internet. Just do a Google search for it or browse around here at http://www.gamedev.net/

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Shai
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
I'm curious as to what a PhD in Physics has learned at past the BSc that would be applicable to game programming...?

having a PhD in physics shows that you have some serious talent/intelligence


And thru out the course of getting this alleged ph.D you never learned to use google?

Look at the 'start here' link at the top of the page.

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